We transferred our two daughters to a new school the week after Thanksgiving. It’s called the Academy of Classical Christian Studies. This decision came with much discussion and prayer. There are a lot of little details that played into our choice, but the bottom line is we felt it was what God wanted us to do. So we did.
The Academy is a private Christian school that utilizes something called the blended model. What that means is the girls go to school two days a week, Tuesday and Thursday, then the rest of the week they have to do the school work that their teachers send home with them. It works out pretty brilliantly. The girls get a high-quality, Christian-based, classical education for a much lower cost. I had never heard of the “classical” model until coming to this school. If you’ve have never heard of it either, you can learn about it here. Or, for a much more in-depth reading, Dorothy Sayers’s essay The Lost Tools of Learning (a required read for all parents with children entering The Academy) is a great resource. I will warn you though, you might just find yourself wishing you had the chance to go back and get this education for yourself. I know I did.
You’re probably picking up on this–we LOVE the Academy. But our transition has not been without it’s bumps and stumbles. There was a huge learning curve, not only academically, but especially in the area of personal discipline. My girls and I had to develop a completely new rhythm. We had to learn together how to persevere through the challenges.
For the first couple of months, my oldest child was convinced she had made a mistake agreeing to go to this school. She complained a LOT; “It’s So Hard!” she’d say, along with lots of other negative self-debasing comments whenever she felt especially challenged. To say that she tested my patience would be an understatement. Some days it took all I had not to break down into tears or let our disagreements escalate into a shouting match. It wasn’t always pretty. To be truthful, there were many moments that I could and should have handled better. But we learned and grew through the process.
Like so many valuable things in life, this change has been hard. But it has been worth it. Despite the pain and difficulties, there are many rewards. Some are obvious–we love having our girls home more and watching them learn scripture. But some have been hidden rewards that I never expected. One of the biggest for me is the satisfaction and fulfillment I experience as I get to witness my daughters learn. They amaze me with their quick minds and creative abilities. And I have learned right along with them, too! Not only in academic ways, but also about the temperaments and personalities of my girls.
It has given me a new appreciation for these wonderful creatures that God has entrusted me with. I’m learning to love them better. Being their teacher has allowed God to teach me in a new way. That’s what I call a win-win!
How about you? You may not be adventuring in blended school, but I’m sure you’ve got some challenges. What hidden rewards has God been showing you lately?